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THE LAST KING OF LANKA - A stunning story by a 22 year old Sri Lankan Girl
Published Date: 28/08/2015 (Friday)
I first met President Rajapaksa when I was 11 years old. I had won a national short story competition and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs had taken me and several other winners to Temple Trees to see the President. He was a rare and skilled politician. He knew the game and he played it very well. He had a clever way of making people feel comfortable around him. He patted our heads spoke to us for a long time; asked us about school and home. We were infatuated. He had us hooked. The other kids and I would go home and tell our friends and family what a great man he was.
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Tamils will Keep Pressing For International Probe: NPC Chair
Published Date: 28/08/2015 (Friday)
In an interview with the press, senior leader of the Federal Party and the chair of the Northern Provincial Council, C.V.K Sivagnanam said that the Tamils will keep pressing for an international probe into charges of war crimes against the Sri Lankan government even though the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, has made it clear that the US will only seek an independent and credible Lankan domestic probe.
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Travel Ban on Gota lifted
Published Date: 27/08/2015 (Thursday)
The Galle Magistrate today lifted the travel ban imposed on former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The order was made when the case regarding the floating armoury at the Galle Harbour was taken up, for the Criminal investigation department to report facts to court. The order imposing a travel ban on former navy commander Somathilaka Dissanayake, former additional secretary of the Defence Ministry Sujatha Damayanthi Jayarathne, directors of the Avant-Garde company Palitha Fernando and Manjula Kumjara Yapa were also lifted by court.
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Biswal Bullish!
Published Date: 27/08/2015 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka looked set to escape a minefield of international action on war crimes allegations with a US Government announcement yesterday that it would sponsor a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month supporting the Government’s plans for a domestic investigation and reconciliation. The announcement marks a departure from the previous US position that allegations about atrocities committed in Sri Lanka at the end of the war had to be probed internationally in the absence or failure of domestic processes.
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Rare opportunity for meaningful reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 27/08/2015 (Thursday)
The Sri Lankan people deserve great admiration on the successful conclusion of the most free and fair parliamentary elections since May, 1970. The conclusion of the election has presented a rare opportunity to deliver meaningful reconciliation and a lasting peace. The U.S.-led international community should seize this historic opportunity, facilitating the required political climate to make reconciliation a reality in Sri Lanka The election victory of United National Party (UNP) can shift the country in a new revolutionary path, paving the way for a rapid development.
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Toronto Tamil fest kicks off campaign to open Tamil-Canadian museum
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
A local Tamil community is in the process of opening a museum chronicling the history of its Canadian integration. The effort will start in earnest this weekend during the inaugural Tamil Fest in Scarborough. The goals include exploring Tamil people’s journey to Canada and how they connect with their homeland. “We are very engaged in every aspect of the country, politics, education or business,” said Anton Philip, who is coordinating the effort. “You name it, we are there, you know.”
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Sri Lanka: A Lesson for U.S. Strategy
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka provides a glimpse of small power-great power relations in a future multipolar world order. For much of the period since its independence, Sri Lanka attracted scant regard throughout the West. At the culmination of its civil war, some attention did begin to be paid to human rights issues. In the last few years, however, Sri Lanka has begun to feature as a country of strategic relevance to the great powers. For one, it sits at the center of the Indian Ocean, likely to be one of the world’s most strategically contested regions in the coming century. Sri Lanka is also halfway between China and its energy sources in the Middle East, something Beijing had responded to largely successfully until January this year when Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the presidency.
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In Shift, US Backs Sri Lanka's Own War Crimes Probe
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
The United States said Wednesday that it wants to sponsor a resolution at next month's U.N. human rights session that is supportive of Sri Lanka's government, which wants to conduct its own investigation into alleged war crimes. The announcement by the visiting Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal of a joint resolution with the Sri Lankan government presents a major shift by Washington on the South Asian island nation.
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Changing political dynamics
Published Date: 26/08/2015 (Wednesday)
The parliamentary election held on Aug. 17 represented a seismic shift in the political culture of Sri Lanka. In the past, there was a culture of violence and corruption to the hilt. But this time, following the change of leadership that took place in January, it was clear a new atmosphere had emerged. In the months following the January presidential election, the victors made good governance a keynote theme of the new administration. However, the government — still a minority in parliament — struggled to implement legal reform.
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Sri Lanka arrests army personnel over missing journalist
Published Date: 25/08/2015 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka's police arrested four army personnel, including two senior officers yesterday, in connection with the disappearance of the dissident cartoonist that triggered international condemnation of the island's rights record. Two lieutenant colonels, a sergeant and a corporal were arrested following the testimony given by three other suspects already in custody over the abduction of Prageeth Eknaligoda in 2010, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. "The four men were questioned today and arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department," Gunasekera said in a statement.
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Announcement of new cabinet delayed due to hectic lobby
Published Date: 24/08/2015 (Monday)
Sri Lanka\'s president on reinstated three key ministers in their posts today but delayed announcing a full cabinet after a landmark agreement to form a coalition government. Maithripala Sirisena had been expected to swear in a cabinet Monday, but official sources said that had been delayed as talks with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) continued.
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Sri Lanka says good riddance to Rajapaksa
Published Date: 23/08/2015 (Sunday)
Sri Lankan voters have dealt a decisive blow to the comeback ambitions of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who ran the island nation of 20m people in authoritarian style for a decade. Their rejection of his bid for the premiership almost certainly ends his chances of leading the country again. It also opens up the possibility of the former strongman being investigated for both corruption and human rights violations. He denies both accusations.
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Sri Lankan Tamil Brides Reject Grooms Demanding Dowries
Published Date: 05/08/2015 (Wednesday)
During and since Sri Lanka’s long civil war, members of the Tamil community have re-examined cultural traditions. While arranged marriages remain common, young people increasingly decline to request or offer dowries, a custom they say disrespects the equality of women and turns marriage into an economic exchange. Older Tamils defend the custom, saying dowries help young couples establish economic security. “Marriage should not be a trade between two families. It’s time to change. It’s two lives that matter, not dowries, says Usha Thevathas, 25, teacher and a prospective bride
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Sri Lanka - in-year update July 2015
Published Date: 15/07/2015 (Wednesday)
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office released its Human Rights and Democracy Report today, which says, The human rights situation in Sri Lanka improved during the first half of 2015, although some concerns remain. Following the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January and the appointment of a new government, Sri Lanka took a number of positive steps to address human rights and democracy concerns, including establishing new institutions and undertaking legal reforms.
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Bishop urges to ensure safety of Ex-LTTE cadres
Published Date: 08/04/2015 (Wednesday)
Bishop of Jaffna Rev. Thomas Savundranayagam pointed out to the Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie that the new government should ensure the safety of the ex- LTTE cadres as they were intimidated frequently even after they have been integrated with the society after the rehabilitation process. Responding to the Jaffna Bishop, Australian High Commissioner Mudie said that the Australian Government would be always supportive of a healthy reconciliation in the island.
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Sri Lanka, Pakistan sign nuclear agreement
Published Date: 07/04/2015 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed six agreements including one on atomic energy Monday, the two countries' leaders said, as the strategically important island looks to build its first nuclear plant. Details of the agreement were not immediately available but it comes after Sri Lanka signed a pact with India in February to build its atomic energy infrastructure, including training of personnel.
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Abberrant actions cannot cure the Sri Lankan judiciary of its ills
Published Date: 05/04/2015 (Sunday)
Even close to one and a half decades later, it is heartening to see the virulent politicisation of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court from the year 2000 amidst the bypassing of honourable judges of the Court under the Presidencies of Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa being publicly recognised by the Bar.
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Dialogue on promoting reconciliation and strengthening of democracy in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 05/04/2015 (Sunday)
The “In Transformation Initiative (ITI)” a peacemaking organisation established in April 2013 in South Africa, promoting the South African peace making issued a statement today saying, As part of an on-going dialogue process towards promoting reconciliation and strengthening of democracy in Sri Lanka, the Government of Switzerland and the In Transformation Initiative (ITI) from South Africa, invited a group of political, civil society, academic, diaspora and other international stakeholders including an observer from the Government of Australia to a meeting in Singapore from 3 to 5 April 2015.
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No police powers for armed forces
Published Date: 04/04/2015 (Saturday)
The government of Sri Lanka gas decided to cease the police powers vested in the armed forces. It was reported that the government has allowed to lapse the Public Security Ordinance regulation that transferred police powers to the armed forces.
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Effective War Crimes Inquiry Could Heal Sri Lanka’s Old Wounds
Published Date: 04/04/2015 (Saturday)
Jessi Joygeswaran seems like your typical 23-year-old young woman. She has an infectious smile and laughs a lot when she talks. Like many other young women anywhere in the world, her life is full of dreams. “I want to go to university, I want to do a good job,” she tells IPS. She seems sure that she can make her dreams come true.
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Modi’s ocean politics: Gluing security, blue economy
Published Date: 03/04/2015 (Friday)
India, of late, has woken up to realize the importance of oceans, more particularly the one in its backyard. Better late than never, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a humble beginning for integrating with countries in the Indian Ocean rim. While security in the region remains a major concern, another recipe for integration is the call for cooperation in the development of a blue economy.
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EU reactivates LTTE ban after Sri Lanka protest
Published Date: 01/04/2015 (Wednesday)
The European Union has re-imposed a ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after Sri Lankan government intervention. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ajith P Perera said on Tuesday that the government had written twice to the EU requesting it to re-impose the ban on the LTTE.
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Heritage & Nationalism: A Bane Of Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/03/2015 (Tuesday)
The current practices of archeology and their complicity with rebranding of archaeological heritage as national heritage have contributed to the ethnic tensions, civil war, injustice, inequality, and violence in the Sri Lankan society. The pretense that archaeology is an apolitical profession is a form of complicity with these social ills. In many societies, archaeological knowledge was the historical basis for nation builders and their antagonists (e.g. separatists/sub nationalists), who reclaimed or plundered their antiquity, and reshaped it to support discriminatory social, economic and political practices. Sri Lanka is no exception.
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World Justice Project – Open Government Index 2015
Published Date: 25/03/2015 (Wednesday)
The World Justice Project (WJP) announced that it has launched the World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index™ 2015 , today. It is the first effort to measure government openness based on the general public’s experiences and perceptions worldwide. The WJP Open Government Index presents scores and rankings for 102 countries organized around four dimensions: publicized laws and government data, right to information, civic participation, and complaint mechanisms. Scoring for the Index is drawn from more than 100,000 household surveys and in-country expert questionnaires.
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The End Justifies the Means?
Published Date: 25/03/2015 (Wednesday)
New situation has created problems for the middle classes. Unlike workers, middle people in the bourgeoisie society are looking for fundamentals. Proletarians are more pragmatic, they can identify the tricks played by the masters and they wait for the final results. Also, they cannot afford to cry after lost dreams and they have to take positions according to the balance of forces in the class struggle. Many in the middle sections of the urban society trusted the lawyers who drafted the 19th amendment. Suddenly trust placed on Jayampathi and Weliamuna means nothing. They only draft but the power to finalize rests with others. Neither the Manifesto nor the personal assurances constitute the final definitive statement
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